Home Forums Main YANAP Discussion Forum Opinions on Monolight Kit

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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  • #14091
    deano
    Member

    Has anyone ever used this light kit? I would really appreciate some input on this particular one or recommendations for something similar. Thanks.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/640428-REG/Impact_VSLCD400_2KII_VS_LCD400_400Ws_Digital_Monolight.html

    #14092

    Sorry, haven’t used that kit.  I have two sets similar to this kit:  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/849140-REG/Bowens_BW_4805TXUSDA_Gemini_500R_2_Light.html

    So, I have two radios and 4 lamps.  I have a softbox on one lamp and umbrellas on the others.  You can get adapters so you don’t have to use Bowens light shapers.  Bowens can also be configured to fire when they see a first, second, third, or fourth flash, which means you can skip using the radios and fire them from a speedlite, either in manual mode – first flash, or ETTL mode – second flash.

    Small flash can use radio, or light triggers.  Some systems require a cord to the camera, which you can trip over and it limits your distance to at least one flash.

    Since you put up a link to B&H, I’m assuming you are in the USA?  So, you might want to have a peek at Alien Bees and/or Einstein:  http://www.paulcbuff.com/  I haven’t used them, in Canada the regulations are different and they don’t seem to have a CSA certification.  Here the Bowens are individually inspected and get an orange sticker approving connection to the power grid.

    The other lamps you might consider are continuous lamps like:  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=westcott+spiderlite&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ta

    Personally, I find continuous light too bright for the model and not bright enough for the camera, but if you can ask your model to freeze for an instant, and they don’t mind brightness, it is easier to use continuous lights because you can see the shadows more easily than with modeling lights from strobes, and small flash don’t really have viable modeling lights.

    And, speedlites/speedlights, for which you can get modifiers like:  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/820996-REG/Westcott_2336_Apollo_Orb_36_91_4.html

    If you are going to be in a studio or near connections to power, studio lights just plug in.  If you are going to be traveling or working away from power, outdoors, then a bag full of small flash and some modifiers might meet your needs and they are lighter to carry, but no cheaper to purchase.

    #14096
    deano
    Member

    Thanks, cameraclicker. I am located in the US, and I am currently using continuous lights, a Wescott SpiderLite kit. I’m just interested in purchasing a monolight kit. I will check out Alien Bees. If anyone else has any monolight brand recommendations, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

    #14104
    Intuition
    Member

    I have the impact set, and I wasn’t impressed. My one stopped working above half power, which doesn’t make it useless, but is really annoying. I’ve since upgraded to Alien bees, which I really like, but I’ve kept the impacts since they are ‘ok’ lights for me.

    #14109
    ebi
    Member

    I have a set of Elinchromes D Lites that I take with me whenever I need to use strobe. I love them. It’s two light bags that I throw over my shoulder. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=elinchrom+d-lite+rx+4&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ta

    #14116
    Bill
    Member

    I like the AlienBees, even though they are on the economy end of the spectrum, they do pretty good. For the price, of them you really can’t go wrong. I have heard that they tend to have a little color temp variance, but I haven’t seen that in the ones that I have. Not even sure if they do vary, by how much.

    #14126
    Jones
    Member

    FWIW, I’ve used AlienBees before and since I work a lot and see so many wedding dresses, they *do* have a VERY slight color temp variance, but it’s not really a huge problem except for super critical things, and even then, non-super-critical clients won’t notice.

     

    I have a set of Photogenic Monolights, and have to say I am VERY proud of them. They are from my former photography teacher, pristine condition and they have been popping for at least 30 years as far as I know. She chose them specifically for the lack of color shift. However, they are not budget friendly lights like the Bees.

    #14139
    ebi
    Member

    agreed on the photogenics – i have two and they are really great. They have a little more power than the D-Lites, which can be helpful at times.

    #14187
    deano
    Member

    Thanks, everyone. Thanks, Intuition, for your comments on the Impact kit. B & H had recommended it to me, but I could not bring myself to order it.

    #14194
    ebi
    Member

    typically, it’s best to stay away from whatever B&H is trying to push. They get the best deals on stuff that isn’t great. So they are always pushing it. Deano, have you ever been to the NYC superstore? It’s crazy!

    #14200
    JLiu
    Member

    My wife has banned me from walking in there…for good reason.

    Always piece out your gear – sets are rarely worth buying. I’ve found that this applies to most electronics.

    #14203
    ebi
    Member

    ha JLiu!

    It’s very true. I cannot walk in there without spending at least $500. I go in for ink and come out with ink, hard drives and a bunch of shit I don’t really need. My father is a frequenter of Lowes. He spends so much time in that store that whenever I need to find something, I call him and ask him where it is. He can tell me what isle and on what side it will be on. He lives 600 miles away but all the stores are exactly the same. I am my fathers son, but at B & H.

    #14208
    deano
    Member

    ebi, that makes sense. No, I haven’t been in the NYC superstore. Sounds great, though.

    #14210
    JLiu
    Member

    @deano – realistically, I’d look into buying used gear. Depending on who you buy from, you might be able to score a solid set of lights (possibly even with stands) at a great price. I recently let go of an older analog set of Elinchrom monos (2x 500, 1x 250) for $900. I threw in the Manfrotto stands for another $200.


    @ebi
    – Now I know who to bother when I’m lost at Lowes! We went to visit B&H one time while we were visiting some friends. I walked out with a full set of Lee ND soft grads and the Lee Big Stopper…and all I needed were some PEC Pads. Dangerous, I tell you.

    #14215
    emf
    Member

    B&H is awesome! We seem to be losing our good photography shops here. It’s such a shame Jacobs has gone. Can I just ask the Brits where they like?

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